HERE were three of us so the challenge was on to find somewhere that would appeal to a 12-yearold boy ... and his parents. Son Harry joined myself and wife Ruth on our latest quest to find a restaurant that can tick the right boxes.
We’d known of The Firehouse in Sowerby Bridge for years but never quite got round to going there.
Well, this was the chance and a look at the menu on its comprehensive website was certainly a promising start.
It’s split into four sections – tapas, burgers, pizza and what’s know as ‘The Grill.’
There is a saying ‘you can’t please all the people all the time.’
This menu looked like it was out to prove that wrong.
Sowerby Bridge has more than its fair share of restaurants and it’s less than three miles from the bottom of Calderdale Way. A 10-minute drive from there ... if that.
The Firehouse occupies a prime location on a corner on the main street. And what’s this outside? Old Victorian street lamps to add to the sense you’re venturing into the past.
It’s a place that has an immediately cosy, relaxing yet familiar feel the moment you walk in. The dark green walls and exposed wood capture the history of this old building.
We went up the spiral staircase to the upstairs part of the restaurant. The atmosphere is the past, completed with the retro vintage lights. We’ll have none of your modern ways here.
Some of the seats are even old upholstered and have scatter cushions on them. Told you there was a natural, homely atmosphere.
The menu doubles as the place mat and is exceptionally clearly laid out.
Harry went for burger – but no ordinary burger This was wild boar (£12) with pulled chicken, caramelised red onion, Gruyere cheese on a brioche bun and, for an extra £2, upgraded to Loaded Fries (normally £5.50) which are chips smothered in barbecue pulled chicken, spring onion, melted cheddar and American mustard.
A triumphant choice as he hailed it the best burger he’d ever had and, you know, he was right. It really was top notch. The meat was packed with natural flavour yet had a certain lightness to it and the chips were just something else. It just goes to show your humble chip doesn’t have to be ‘ever so humble.’ The housebread was homemade and came with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dip in. A brilliant bread, this was Parmesan cheese and rocket and took bread to a different level. The little dish of oil and balsamic was too small but was quickly refilled when we asked for more. We also went tapas with stuffed field mushrooms (£4.90) featuring pine nut, blue cheese and breadcrumb crust with pesto-dressed rocket; Seafood Jambalaya (£7.40) featuring king prawns, seabass, crab, chorizo, mixed peppers, red onion and cayenne pepper; Suckling Pig (£7.40), slow braised with herb and lemon juices, and Lamb Kofta (£5.60) with homemade garlic flatbread and tzatziki.
Three large mushrooms were not overpowered by the cheese, while the Kofta was served very dry and needed the tzatziki and also came with a fancy homemade coleslaw.
The suckling pig was a goodsized square with a crusty top and easily came apart once we dug in. By its very nature it’s a salty dish and the sauce is incredibly powerful.
The seafood jambalaya was perfect, packed to the gunnels with flavour ranging from light seabass to the heavy taste of a strong chorizo. All in all a table packed with a diverse range of textures and flavours.
The pizzas looked good too and one that stood out on the menu was Moroccan Lamb (£10.90) ground spiced lamb with pine nut, green peppers and pecorino (a hard Italian cheese).
A 10oz sirloin steak is £17 while an 8oz fillet steak is £22. A new menu is on its way shortly. Service was excellent and if you venture down to the toilets then admire the wine cellar halfway down.